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The 5000m2 Submarine Wharf opened its doors Saturday 8 June for the fourth consecutive summer. This year’s partnership between the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen has resulted in the exhibition ‘XXXL Painting’. Three internationally renowned artists transformed the 1930s wharf in the Rotterdam docklands into an enormous artists’ studio with immense artworks.
Klaas Kloosterboer (NL, 1959), Jim Shaw (USA, 1952) and Chris Martin (USA, 1954) think on a grand scale. The artworks in this edition consist of objects, installations and paintings, some as large as a badminton court. This ‘Battle of the Titans’ shows that painting is still a vital force to be reckoned with. Prior to the opening in the Submarine Wharf in the evening of Saturday 8 June, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen opens the contemporary art exhibitions ‘25 Years Rotterdam City Collection’ and ‘Sensory Spaces 1 - Oscar Tuazon’. The exhibition ‘XXXL Painting’ will be opened by Jeannette Baljeu, Alderman for Port, Transport and Regional Economy and director Sjarel Ex. This will be followed by a performance by schoolchildren and a concert. The evening comes to a close with the opening of the exhibition ‘Territory’ at AVL-Mundo (initiative of Joep van Lieshout) on the north bank of the River Maas.
East Coast, West Coast, North Sea Coast
Klaas Kloosterboer, ‘the bomber’, lives and works in Amsterdam. He has installed a rail on the ceiling of the Submarine Wharf’s long hall, which slowly conveys existing and new works through the space amidst an installation of static works and video images, providing constantly changing vistas. Some of Kloosterboer’s brightly coloured canvases are as large as 40m2.
Chris Martin, ‘the savage painter’, lives and works in New York. Martin presents his work in the enormous front hall of the Submarine Wharf. Eighteen existing works are exhibited alongside three canvases painted in situ, two of which are approx. 130m2. Martin is fascinated by the relationship between the insignificant and the grandiose, between man and the universe. He makes paintings that seem abstract from a distance but which contain all sorts of details.
Jim Shaw, ‘the storyteller’, lives and works in Los Angeles. In the rear portion of the Submarine Wharf, Shaw has built a labyrinth of paintings on old theatre backdrops. His stories make us reconsider the inventions that we call ‘reality’.
RDM Campus and Submarine Wharf
The exhibition in the Submarine Wharf is a partnership between the Port of Rotterdam Authority and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in which each summer for five years the Submarine Wharf hosts an exhibition by leading international contemporary artists. The three earlier exhibitions were devoted to Atelier Van Lieshout (2010), the art duo Elmgreen & Dragset (2011) and Sarkis (2012). The public and press were extremely enthusiastic about all three shows. De Volkskrant praised the 2010 exhibition as: ‘This summer’s undisputed art hit’. The Guardian reported in 2011: "at last a reason to go to Rotterdam." In 2012 Artmap wrote: "Sarkis has transformed the industrial Submarine Wharf into an extraordinary 'gesamtkunstwerk'.”
The Submarine Wharf from 1937 is of comparable size to the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern in London. It is part of the former Rotterdamsche Droogdok Maatschappij (RDM) at Heijplaat. The Port of Rotterdam Authority is redeveloping this location as a meeting place for education, innovative businesses and public events. This year the RDM Campus was chosen by the Open Universiteit as the most successful reuse project. For more info: www.onderzeebootloods.nl
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen would like to thank the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the BankGiro Lottery and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art for their generous support and cooperation.
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